Today's High-Tech Car Safety Features and What They Do

2017 S90 Animal Detection
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Advanced Safety Systems That Can Prevent Car Accidents

Lots of ordinary cars that you can buy today have all the hallmarks of a self-driving car: They can steer, accelerate, brake, stop, and restart all on their own. They can recognize obstacles ahead, behind, beside, and approaching from the sides. That doesn’t mean you can sit back and relax behind the wheel yet, though.

These advanced (or adaptive) driver assistance systems (ADAS) can only react to obstacles immediately in view. They can’t stop for red lights, and they can’t plan ahead. That’s still the driver’s job.

Study after study has shown that it’s effectively impossible to make drivers quickly retake control of the car once they cede control to automated systems. To keep drivers engaged at all times, most automakers have limited the systems’ capabilities, for example, requiring the driver to keep their hands on the wheel, and only allowing automatic braking and lane keeping assistance to work below or above certain speeds. 

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